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How To Become A Notary Public

(category: Legal, Word count: 305)
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Notary Publics first became prominent during the 1500's, at the height of the Roman Empire. They were chosen either by the Pope, or the Archbishop of Canterbury to whom the Pope delegated authority. During those years notaries were well versed in foreign languages, as well as the principles and practices of law.

On the other hand, becoming a notary public in the U.S., thereby serving as witness to the signing of documents and an administrator of oaths, does not require special training or experience. It is a relatively easy position to secure, in most cases only requiring the candidate to pass a short test and undergo a background check. With this in mind, the rights and privileges accorded to a notary public do not extend beyond the basic duties of an impartial witness. More specifically, they are not permitted to give any form of legal counsel, prepare legal documents or otherwise practice law.

For those interested in becoming a licensed notary, there are three basic steps to follow:

First, fill out an application, providing your name, address and other contact info. You will also answer questions regarding age, residency and any previous notary commissions held. (Application procedures vary from state to state. For more information regarding the application process, you can visit the National Notary Association website, Second, applicants are next required to pay a fee to the commissioning authority. Finally, applicants must take an oath of office, which may be incorporated into the application or filed with a county clerk.

There are other possible steps that may include taking an educational course, passing a test or obtaining a notary bond. These requirements vary from state to state, therefore applicants are encouraged to consult their local official or contact the National Notary Association for more info.

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Criminal Court Records

(category: Legal, Word count: 311)
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There are courts at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels, each with its own set of criminal records. A county may be considered as a province or a specific region, and there are almost 3000 counties in the United States. Each and every county court maintains its own set of criminal records. Normally the cases held at the county level include misdemeanors and felonies that are not reported at the federal level.

Accessibility to county criminal records is relatively fast when compared to the records of state and federal courts. A person called a court record retriever takes 72 hours to retrieve information and search most of these records manually.

Federal court criminal records include the data relating to drug crimes, immigration crimes, and crimes relating to weapons. It is highly difficult to have the accessibility of these records online. Even if a person has the accessibility, he can have the data only to a limited extent not covering the personal information of the accused and the witnesses. In the USA, federal court criminal records are compiled by a very popular agency called National Crime Information Centre (NCIC), which maintains computerized index of the criminal records prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Employers routinely conduct federal criminal checks before employing potential candidates for some of positions.

State court criminal records, on the other hand, have high accessibility via the Internet. Some state courts prescribe a range of fees for accessing their records online and some state courts do not. These records contain the data given by county indexes. These records also exclude the sensitive personal information of defendants like federal court criminal records. The best option in the hands of a searcher is to make countywide and statewide index search combined to have the full spectrum of the criminal record.

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Badger State Wisconsin Child Support

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Wisconsin Child Support

When enrolled in a state or federal public assistances program, the child welfare will refer you to an agency of child support for service with no charge. If at the current state you are not provided with public aid, you can stop by your local child support agency and pick up an application for support services

Wisconsin child support Paternity

If your child was born in wedlock, then the husband is labeled the legal father. However, if the child is born out of wedlock, then as a custodial parent you must establish paternity before a court can order any child support. By volunteering to file a paternity acknowledgement form with the state, you would be able to determine the father by establishing that paternity. You can retrieve this form from the hospital where your baby is born. When at anytime the alleged father doubts the paternity of the child, there will be a genetic test to proof once and for all who the father of the child will be.

Wisconsin Child Support Locators

Before a custodial parent is able to establish paternity, they must first located the father. Wisconsin has assistance in locating the missing father so that paternity can be established. This assistance is the Kids Information Data System (KIDS), which is designed to automatically check computer databases for any information on parents who are behind on child support.

Changing Wisconsin Child Support

Child support cases are reviewed every three years or at the custodial parents request. The reason behind this review is to see if the non-custodial parent has had a raise or a cut in pay. The Wisconsin Child Support Bureau also determines if the child support payments are too high or too low. This review can also be requested more often than the three years. For example, if the non-custodial parent changes jobs frequently and the pay is better than the last job, then the non-custodial parent has the right to have the child support modified.

For more information on Wisconsin Child Support laws please click the links below.

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Do You Need An Accident Lawyer In Ohio

(category: Legal, Word count: 420)
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Are you injured in an auto accident in Ohio? An Accident lawyer Ohio helps you to claim the compensation for the agony or sufferings you have due to the accident met and also claim for the property loss due to accident. They will decide whether your case has merit and is worth pursuing. They will also confirm you that how long you have to wait to file a lawsuit.

Similarly, the accident car lawyer Virginia will assist the persons who met with such accident cases in a systematic manner and you are entitled to receive fair compensation for all your injuries and sufferings.

These attorneys know very well how to prepare your case and to get good value for your lost belongings. Most of the attorneys from Ohio work on a contingency-fee basis.

Once you receive the compensation from the insurance firms, you will be charged a percentage of the claim settled. If you have lost your case against the insurance firms, then you're not entitled to pay these attorneys. Hence it is always advisable to contact an experienced lawyer from either of these states.

These experienced lawyers are well versed with the local laws and will definitely get you the required claim at the earliest possible time.

Though it may be a complicated battle with the concerned legally, the points put forth by these accident attorneys will be of more useful in a legal manner to claim amounts for all these expenditures that are expected or made already.

The claim forms need to be filled up correctly and one thing that the accident legal representative at Ohio insists is that the clients or the victims or the care takers in these car accident cases need to avoid the delay in filing cases. Hence, the claims may be settled at a fast rate in such cases of accidents. The client is supposed to give proper information with regard to the property loss due to accident.

In this regard, it is to be remembered that the loss of salary or the wages during the day of accident may also be claimed if the issues of the car accident are met in a proper manner without causing any delay on part of client.

However, the documentary evidences should be provided to accident public prosecutor in a precised manner and these will help him to deliver legal points in a correct manner that will assist the accident cases.

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The Insanity Of The Defense

(category: Legal, Word count: 2561)
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I. The Insanity Defense

"It is an ill thing to knock against a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor. He that wounds them is culpable, but if they wound him they are not culpable." (Mishna, Babylonian Talmud)

If mental illness is culture-dependent and mostly serves as an organizing social principle - what should we make of the insanity defense (NGRI- Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity)?

A person is held not responsible for his criminal actions if s/he cannot tell right from wrong ("lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality (wrongfulness) of his conduct" - diminished capacity), did not intend to act the way he did (absent "mens rea") and/or could not control his behavior ("irresistible impulse"). These handicaps are often associated with "mental disease or defect" or "mental retardation".

Mental health professionals prefer to talk about an impairment of a "person's perception or understanding of reality". They hold a "guilty but mentally ill" verdict to be contradiction in terms. All "mentally-ill" people operate within a (usually coherent) worldview, with consistent internal logic, and rules of right and wrong (ethics). Yet, these rarely conform to the way most people perceive the world. The mentally-ill, therefore, cannot be guilty because s/he has a tenuous grasp on reality.

Yet, experience teaches us that a criminal maybe mentally ill even as s/he maintains a perfect reality test and thus is held criminally responsible (Jeffrey Dahmer comes to mind). The "perception and understanding of reality", in other words, can and does co-exist even with the severest forms of mental illness.

This makes it even more difficult to comprehend what is meant by "mental disease". If some mentally ill maintain a grasp on reality, know right from wrong, can anticipate the outcomes of their actions, are not subject to irresistible impulses (the official position of the American Psychiatric Association) - in what way do they differ from us, "normal" folks?

This is why the insanity defense often sits ill with mental health pathologies deemed socially "acceptable" and "normal" - such as religion or love.

Consider the following case:

A mother bashes the skulls of her three sons. Two of them die. She claims to have acted on instructions she had received from God. She is found not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury determined that she "did not know right from wrong during the killings."

But why exactly was she judged insane?

Her belief in the existence of God - a being with inordinate and inhuman attributes - may be irrational.

But it does not constitute insanity in the strictest sense because it conforms to social and cultural creeds and codes of conduct in her milieu. Billions of people faithfully subscribe to the same ideas, adhere to the same transcendental rules, observe the same mystical rituals, and claim to go through the same experiences. This shared psychosis is so widespread that it can no longer be deemed pathological, statistically speaking.

She claimed that God has spoken to her.

As do numerous other people. Behavior that is considered psychotic (paranoid-schizophrenic) in other contexts is lauded and admired in religious circles. Hearing voices and seeing visions - auditory and visual delusions - are considered rank manifestations of righteousness and sanctity.

Perhaps it was the content of her hallucinations that proved her insane?

She claimed that God had instructed her to kill her boys. Surely, God would not ordain such evil?

Alas, the Old and New Testaments both contain examples of God's appetite for human sacrifice. Abraham was ordered by God to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son (though this savage command was rescinded at the last moment). Jesus, the son of God himself, was crucified to atone for the sins of humanity.

A divine injunction to slay one's offspring would sit well with the Holy Scriptures and the Apocrypha as well as with millennia-old Judeo-Christian traditions of martyrdom and sacrifice.

Her actions were wrong and incommensurate with both human and divine (or natural) laws.

Yes, but they were perfectly in accord with a literal interpretation of certain divinely-inspired texts, millennial scriptures, apocalyptic thought systems, and fundamentalist religious ideologies (such as the ones espousing the imminence of "rapture"). Unless one declares these doctrines and writings insane, her actions are not.

we are forced to the conclusion that the murderous mother is perfectly sane. Her frame of reference is different to ours. Hence, her definitions of right and wrong are idiosyncratic. To her, killing her babies was the right thing to do and in conformity with valued teachings and her own epiphany. Her grasp of reality - the immediate and later consequences of her actions - was never impaired.

It would seem that sanity and insanity are relative terms, dependent on frames of cultural and social reference, and statistically defined. There isn't - and, in principle, can never emerge - an "objective", medical, scientific test to determine mental health or disease unequivocally.

II. The Concept of Mental Disease - An Overview

Someone is considered mentally "ill" if:

His conduct rigidly and consistently deviates from the typical, average behaviour of all other people in his culture and society that fit his profile (whether this conventional behaviour is moral or rational is immaterial), or

His judgment and grasp of objective, physical reality is impaired, and

His conduct is not a matter of choice but is innate and irresistible, and

His behavior causes him or others discomfort, and is

Dysfunctional, self-defeating, and self-destructive even by his own yardsticks.

Descriptive criteria aside, what is the essence of mental disorders? Are they merely physiological disorders of the brain, or, more precisely of its chemistry? If so, can they be cured by restoring the balance of substances and secretions in that mysterious organ? And, once equilibrium is reinstated - is the illness "gone" or is it still lurking there, "under wraps", waiting to erupt? Are psychiatric problems inherited, rooted in faulty genes (though amplified by environmental factors) - or brought on by abusive or wrong nurturance?

These questions are the domain of the "medical" school of mental health.

Others cling to the spiritual view of the human psyche. They believe that mental ailments amount to the metaphysical discomposure of an unknown medium - the soul. Theirs is a holistic approach, taking in the patient in his or her entirety, as well as his milieu.

The members of the functional school regard mental health disorders as perturbations in the proper, statistically "normal", behaviours and manifestations of "healthy" individuals, or as dysfunctions. The "sick" individual - ill at ease with himself (ego-dystonic) or making others unhappy (deviant) - is "mended" when rendered functional again by the prevailing standards of his social and cultural frame of reference.

In a way, the three schools are akin to the trio of blind men who render disparate descriptions of the very same elephant. Still, they share not only their subject matter - but, to a counter intuitively large degree, a faulty methodology.

As the renowned anti-psychiatrist, Thomas Szasz, of the State University of New York, notes in his article "The Lying Truths of Psychiatry", mental health scholars, regardless of academic predilection, infer the etiology of mental disorders from the success or failure of treatment modalities.

This form of "reverse engineering" of scientific models is not unknown in other fields of science, nor is it unacceptable if the experiments meet the criteria of the scientific method. The theory must be all-inclusive (anamnetic), consistent, falsifiable, logically compatible, monovalent, and parsimonious. Psychological "theories" - even the "medical" ones (the role of serotonin and dopamine in mood disorders, for instance) - are usually none of these things.

The outcome is a bewildering array of ever-shifting mental health "diagnoses" expressly centred around Western civilisation and its standards (example: the ethical objection to suicide). Neurosis, a historically fundamental "condition" vanished after 1980. Homosexuality, according to the American Psychiatric Association, was a pathology prior to 1973. Seven years later, narcissism was declared a "personality disorder", almost seven decades after it was first described by Freud.

III. Personality Disorders

Indeed, personality disorders are an excellent example of the kaleidoscopic landscape of "objective" psychiatry.

The classification of Axis II personality disorders - deeply ingrained, maladaptive, lifelong behavior patterns - in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition, text revision [American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR, Washington, 2000] - or the DSM-IV-TR for short - has come under sustained and serious criticism from its inception in 1952, in the first edition of the DSM.

The DSM IV-TR adopts a categorical approach, postulating that personality disorders are "qualitatively distinct clinical syndromes" (p. 689). This is widely doubted. Even the distinction made between "normal" and "disordered" personalities is increasingly being rejected. The "diagnostic thresholds" between normal and abnormal are either absent or weakly supported.

The polythetic form of the DSM's Diagnostic Criteria - only a subset of the criteria is adequate grounds for a diagnosis - generates unacceptable diagnostic heterogeneity. In other words, people diagnosed with the same personality disorder may share only one criterion or none.

The DSM fails to clarify the exact relationship between Axis II and Axis I disorders and the way chronic childhood and developmental problems interact with personality disorders.

The differential diagnoses are vague and the personality disorders are insufficiently demarcated. The result is excessive co-morbidity (multiple Axis II diagnoses).

The DSM contains little discussion of what distinguishes normal character (personality), personality traits, or personality style (Millon) - from personality disorders.

A dearth of documented clinical experience regarding both the disorders themselves and the utility of various treatment modalities.

Numerous personality disorders are "not otherwise specified" - a catchall, basket "category".

Cultural bias is evident in certain disorders (such as the Antisocial and the Schizotypal).

The emergence of dimensional alternatives to the categorical approach is acknowledged in the DSM-IV-TR itself:

"An alternative to the categorical approach is the dimensional perspective that Personality Disorders represent maladaptive variants of personality traits that merge imperceptibly into normality and into one another" (p.689)

The following issues - long neglected in the DSM - are likely to be tackled in future editions as well as in current research. But their omission from official discourse hitherto is both startling and telling:

The longitudinal course of the disorder(s) and their temporal stability from early childhood onwards;

The genetic and biological underpinnings of personality disorder(s);

The development of personality psychopathology during childhood and its emergence in adolescence;

The interactions between physical health and disease and personality disorders;

The effectiveness of various treatments - talk therapies as well as psychopharmacology.

IV. The Biochemistry and Genetics of Mental Health

Certain mental health afflictions are either correlated with a statistically abnormal biochemical activity in the brain - or are ameliorated with medication. Yet the two facts are not ineludibly facets of the same underlying phenomenon. In other words, that a given medicine reduces or abolishes certain symptoms does not necessarily mean they were caused by the processes or substances affected by the drug administered. Causation is only one of many possible connections and chains of events.

To designate a pattern of behaviour as a mental health disorder is a value judgment, or at best a statistical observation. Such designation is effected regardless of the facts of brain science. Moreover, correlation is not causation. Deviant brain or body biochemistry (once called "polluted animal spirits") do exist - but are they truly the roots of mental perversion? Nor is it clear which triggers what: do the aberrant neurochemistry or biochemistry cause mental illness - or the other way around?

That psychoactive medication alters behaviour and mood is indisputable. So do illicit and legal drugs, certain foods, and all interpersonal interactions. That the changes brought about by prescription are desirable - is debatable and involves tautological thinking. If a certain pattern of behaviour is described as (socially) "dysfunctional" or (psychologically) "sick" - clearly, every change would be welcomed as "healing" and every agent of transformation would be called a "cure".

The same applies to the alleged heredity of mental illness. Single genes or gene complexes are frequently "associated" with mental health diagnoses, personality traits, or behaviour patterns. But too little is known to establish irrefutable sequences of causes-and-effects. Even less is proven about the interaction of nature and nurture, genotype and phenotype, the plasticity of the brain and the psychological impact of trauma, abuse, upbringing, role models, peers, and other environmental elements.

Nor is the distinction between psychotropic substances and talk therapy that clear-cut. Words and the interaction with the therapist also affect the brain, its processes and chemistry - albeit more slowly and, perhaps, more profoundly and irreversibly. Medicines - as David Kaiser reminds us in "Against Biologic Psychiatry" (Psychiatric Times, Volume XIII, Issue 12, December 1996) - treat symptoms, not the underlying processes that yield them.

V. The Variance of Mental Disease

If mental illnesses are bodily and empirical, they should be invariant both temporally and spatially, across cultures and societies. This, to some degree, is, indeed, the case. Psychological diseases are not context dependent - but the pathologizing of certain behaviours is. Suicide, substance abuse, narcissism, eating disorders, antisocial ways, schizotypal symptoms, depression, even psychosis are considered sick by some cultures - and utterly normative or advantageous in others.

This was to be expected. The human mind and its dysfunctions are alike around the world. But values differ from time to time and from one place to another. Hence, disagreements about the propriety and desirability of human actions and inaction are bound to arise in a symptom-based diagnostic system.

As long as the pseudo-medical definitions of mental health disorders continue to rely exclusively on signs and symptoms - i.e., mostly on observed or reported behaviours - they remain vulnerable to such discord and devoid of much-sought universality and rigor.

VI. Mental Disorders and the Social Order

The mentally sick receive the same treatment as carriers of AIDS or SARS or the Ebola virus or smallpox. They are sometimes quarantined against their will and coerced into involuntary treatment by medication, psychosurgery, or electroconvulsive therapy. This is done in the name of the greater good, largely as a preventive policy.

Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, it is impossible to ignore the enormous interests vested in psychiatry and psychopharmacology. The multibillion dollar industries involving drug companies, hospitals, managed healthcare, private clinics, academic departments, and law enforcement agencies rely, for their continued and exponential growth, on the propagation of the concept of "mental illness" and its corollaries: treatment and research.

VII. Mental Ailment as a Useful Metaphor

Abstract concepts form the core of all branches of human knowledge. No one has ever seen a quark, or untangled a chemical bond, or surfed an electromagnetic wave, or visited the unconscious. These are useful metaphors, theoretical entities with explanatory or descriptive power.

"Mental health disorders" are no different. They are shorthand for capturing the unsettling quiddity of "the Other". Useful as taxonomies, they are also tools of social coercion and conformity, as Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser observed. Relegating both the dangerous and the idiosyncratic to the collective fringes is a vital technique of social engineering.

The aim is progress through social cohesion and the regulation of innovation and creative destruction. Psychiatry, therefore, is reifies society's preference of evolution to revolution, or, worse still, to mayhem. As is often the case with human endeavor, it is a noble cause, unscrupulously and dogmatically pursued.

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Finding The Right Lawyer In Spain

(category: Legal, Word count: 602)
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This is probably the most important step and should be one of your first priorities if you are serious about buying a house in Spain. Seek the services of a good lawyer, before you start the hunt. Why? Because with Spain currently still experiencing a property boom, and the market favoring the seller, it is important that you are ready to act quickly, to avoid any disappointment, should that perfect property present itself. A lot of house hunters start searching first and then worry about other things later. Considering that this will be a large investment of your time and money it is important to start off with your paper work in order first.

Your lawyer should be an independent professional who will protect your interests, and should be someone with whom you are comfortable with in terms of service and of course price. He or she should be fully conversant with both Spanish and U.K law.

Your lawyer or Abogado must be fluent in English as any badly translated contracts can, and have in the past rendered them useless, and can lead to a whole host of problems and some massive headaches in the future.

It is very important that you never sign any documents without getting your lawyer to check them first. This may sound like common sense, and it is. But picture this scenario: You've decided to buy a property in Spain but you are not entirely certain what you want . So you decide to start looking, 'just to get a feeling for the market'

You are with really nice agents and they have a great deal that has just come in that morning, a perfect property at a very low price. So you rush off to view it. And guess what, it's the one.

But you haven't arranged a lawyer yet.

"That's not a problem ", say the nice agents ,"all you need to do is place a deposit to reserve it, then we can take it off our books immediately (so no one else will snap it up) and then your lawyer can check the property and legal stuff later."

So you go ahead read and sign the deposit contract, under the premise that you only are reserving the property.

But this isn't true, and the contract can have clauses that bind you to adverse terms in the main document that you receive at a later date. If you were to do this then you could well have a problem getting your deposit back later, should your lawyer find something that may make you not go through with purchasing the property. So get a lawyer in place before you start your search.

Check that the person representing you is actually fully qualified and is a registered member of the Law Society. He or she should be happy to give you their registration number for 'the Colegio de Abogados' which you can and should double check. If you should have any problems then you can and should complain to them.

Also, by using a register lawyer/solicitor you are covered in the unlikely event that they make a mistake or act negligently. Register lawyers are covered by professional liability insurance, so you would be able to take action against them, knowing that the fund exists to compensate you if your lawyer is found liable.

An added bonus would be whether your lawyer can advise you on the various forms of property ownership and the associated taxes. It is however advisable to get the advise of a specialized financial advisor or accountant.

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California Child Support Laws Golden State

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California Child Support Laws

Both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children. In California, as in most other states, the court may order either or both parents to make regular child support payments that cover a child's living and medical expenses.

California's child support agency is administered through the Department of Child Support Services. This agency can help both custodial and non-custodial parents with a number of child support related services such as establishing paternity, locating a non-custodial parent, establishing, enforcing, and modifying child support orders, and collecting and distributing child support payments.

Establishing Paternity for California child support laws

Your child's paternity must be established before child support can be ordered. Establishing legal paternity gives your child many rights, including child support, access to medical records, government benefits and more.

There are several methods you can use to establish the paternity of your child. The simplest method for establishing paternity is to complete a Paternity Opportunity Program Declaration. This form must be filled out and signed by both parents to establish paternity without going to court. If necessary, California's child support agency can assist you in establishing the paternity of your child by helping you get free or low-cost genetic testing when the child's father is in question.

If the child's father lives in another state, California's child support agency can work with the other state's agencies to obtain genetic testing, establish a child support order and enforce child support payments.

Paying California child support laws

Once a child support order has been established, the non-custodial parent will generally be required to continue making payments until the minor child emancipates or until otherwise noted in the child support order. Under California law, a parent's obligation to pay support continues until the child becomes eighteen years of age. Under certain circumstances (if the child is unmarried and attending high school full time), the current support obligation may continue until the child is nineteen.

Modifying California child support laws

In order to modify a child support order, you must contact your local child support agency to request a modification of the child support order and then cooperate in the review process by providing the requested financial and visitation information.

You can also request the modification of a child support order by filing a motion directly with the court. Contact the Family Law Facilitator's office in your county of residence for help in filing the motion. See below for a complete list of Family Law Facilitators.

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Criminal Injury Claim Are You Serious

(category: Legal, Word count: 468)
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Injuries due to criminal activities, can be one of the most complex and traumatic experiences that anyone can suffer. A criminal injury claim in these terrible incidents, can profoundly affect both the victim and the victim's friends and family, leaving both emotional and physical scars that can last a lifetime.

Few people understand the sensitive and complicated nature of criminal injury claims and can sympathise with those who require the legal help often necessary after these incidents. Criminal injury compensation is especially unique and each case must be dealt with in a unique manner.

Getting Started Can Be The Hardest Part

The most difficult part of a criminal compensation claim, quite often, is coming to the decision to seek one. Serious crimes, that leave the victims injured both physically and mentally can have all sorts of impacts, depending on the person.

Far too often, the victim chooses to put the incident behind them, without persuing for justice that they deserve because they feel that a court case will just make things worse. That's when a trusted compensation solicitor comes in handy.

Because of the sensitive nature of these cases, a trustworthy and caring solicitor will be your best friend in the battle. If you feel comfortable with your injury solicitor, then you will be able to get the verdict and the compensation you've been hoping for. Together, you can turn this whole incident around and find the silver lining in the cloud.

Don't Be Victimised! Fight Back!

After suffering a criminal incident such as an assault, many victims tend to shun away and try to bury the memory, in hopes that it will go away. This, unfortunately, is probably the worst thing anyone can do, while we understand the trauma that has been suffered, we must push hard for a compensation claim, because it is the right thing to do.

Allowing those who have hurt you to remain free from responsibilities is unacceptable.

Finding the right accident compensation solicitor and taking those responsible to court is the right and justice thing to do, as you could possibly prevent them from assaulting others.

From Victim To Victor!

Take back your life and get the compensation you deserve. Go from being a victim to a victor and make them pay!

Getting the compensation you deserve can be a turning point in this tiring time, but you must not forget to choose the right solicitor in your battle, it can mean all the difference in the final outcome.

Start Today And Make Them Pay!

If you are a victim of a crime and have been injured, and are still not convinced that an accident claim is the way to go, then please read the following:

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Employment Law Unfair Dismissal Constructive Dismissal

(category: Legal, Word count: 637)
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The case of Thornley v Land Securities Trillium Ltd [2005] concerned a claim for unfair and constructive dismissal by an employee who alleged that her employer imposed a new job description on her and she contended that her contract of employment was fundamentally breached by such changes to her duties imposed by her employer. The Tribunal upheld this claim.

The employee was originally employed by the BBC as an architect in its construction management department. On or around 12 November 2001, a substantial part of the construction department was transferred to the appellant employer, Thornley, under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1982.

Following this transfer, the employer announced its plans to restructure the department. This meant that the employee's role would have changed to that of a managerial role from the hands-on architectural work she had previously done. On or around 1 October 2002, the employee attended a meeting where she indicated that she believed her position was being made redundant. She wrote to the employer stating that as a result of the proposed restructuring, her professional expertise was being dissipated and she was becoming de-skilled as an architect. She also stated that her position was being made redundant. On or around 8 December, she again wrote to her employer raising a grievance in respect of the new role, which she claimed was not comparable with the job specification of the role she had when she was transferred to the employer.

She brought a grievance hearing and following this hearing on 28 January 2003, the employee was informed that her position was not redundant. On 13 February, she resigned on the grounds of constructive dismissal. The employee then made an employment tribunal claim where she claimed constructive dismissal. The tribunal found that the effective cause of the employee's resignation had been the imposition of the new job description, which fundamentally breached the terms of her contract, with the result that the employee was entitled to resign and to be treated as having been dismissed. The tribunal therefore upheld her claim. The employer appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

The employer in its appeal contended that the tribunal had misconstrued the employee's contract of employment:

The tribunal's decision was perverse;

The issues for the determination by the EAT were whether the tribunal had erred in arriving at its conclusion with regard to:

the extent of the employee's duties under her contract;

the extent to which those duties were to be changed;

whether the employer had been entitled to change her duties; and

if not, whether the employer's breach of contract was a fundamental breach entitling her to resign.

The EAT dismissed the appeal and held that in the circumstances:

the tribunal was entitled to conclude that the changes to the employee's duties under her contract of employment were a fundamental breach of her contract;

the tribunal did not err in its construction of the employee's contract or in concluding that by the changes proposed to her duties, the employer had intended not to be bound by her contract;

the tribunal's decision that the employee was entitled to resign on the basis of constructive dismissal was correct;

no error could be detected in the way in which the tribunal identified the employee's express duties under her contract of employment;

the tribunal's conclusions on the evidence that there were significant changes to her duties, which would have had the effect of deskilling her as an architect, were unimpeachable; and

the employee's contract, read as a whole, did not permit the employer to change the employee's duties to the extent and nature it had proposed.

If you require further information contact us.


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